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Managing Marketing: Brand And Corporate Purpose

Mike_Chuter

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Mike Chuter is the co-founder of Impact4 and the co-founder and COO of Thankful. Two companies focused on creating opportunities for organisations to define and deliver on their purpose. He defines the role of purpose and the ways organisations can develop and use their purpose to do good and do well. Beyond being a marketing function, he sees purpose as defining the organisation, not just for customers, but everyone including employees, shareholders, investors, suppliers, distributors and more.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing, a weekly podcast, where we discuss the issues and opportunities facing marketing media and advertising with industry thought leaders and practitioners. Today, I’m sitting down with Mike Chuter, co-founder of Impact4 and co-founder and COO of Thankful, welcome Mike.

Mike:

Thank you very much, Darren. It’s good to be here.

Darren:

Well, I feel like I’ve got you under false pretences because, in my introduction, I was talking about marketing media and advertising. And actually, what I want to talk about is purpose and really give some clarity to this idea of brand purpose versus corporate purpose. Is that okay with you?

Mike:

Absolutely, fire away.

Darren:

Because I know your business, Impact4 is very much about helping organisations define ‘purpose’, isn’t it?

Mike:

Yes, basically we’ve set Impact4 up to provide strategic positioning of values and purpose so that businesses can achieve their social and sustainability goals to amplify their impact both for-profit and also for purpose.

Darren:

Right, okay. Because we hear a lot in marketing this idea of brand purpose as if individual brands can have a purpose that is in many ways, good corporate social responsibility.

Mike:

It’s interesting because ultimately, what is marketing about? It’s about trying to understand brands and understand consumers and build a relationship between the two.

Now we know through research that 92% of consumers have a more positive image of companies supporting a social or environmental issue.

And therefore, if you’re a marketer and if you can hang your hat on a specific purpose, then there is an opportunity to drive more incremental sales. However…

Darren:

Yeah. And it’s the, however, isn’t it?

Mike:

And it’s interesting because the way we look at it, at Impact4, is there are 2 axes. One axis is obviously about social impact and the effect that brands are having on environmental or any other social or sustainable goal.

And the other axis is how we look at authenticity. As we know, there have been a number of products that have come out and talked about their alignment with a social purpose or with some form of purpose. The challenge is that consumers can see straight through that.

Darren:

Yeah, I was going to say, because if marketing just reduces purpose to the way they communicate and what they communicate about, isn’t it a big difference between saying you’re a good person and actually being a good person? And often, a lot of that exists within the organisation beyond the remit of marketing, doesn’t it?

Mike:

Completely agree. And I think there’s probably a couple of points there. One is that consumers are going to figure you out if you’re saying things and not doing them.

So if you, as a brand, or as an organisation, or even as a product, you’re talking about something and they identify that you’re not actually delivering upon that promise, then they won’t buy. And the challenge with social media is that they’ll spread that negative story very, very quickly.

I think the other thing is within an organisation, the question is where does purpose sit? We know that large organisations for a while have had corporate social responsibility departments that might look at supply chain, they might look at logistics. They might look at where products originally come from.

But sometimes, that has also been different from what marketing is saying. We believe that purpose has to be part of the absolute DNA of the organisation and it has to be driven from the top-down and from the bottom-up. So staff have to believe in it, obviously, customers have to believe in it. But just as importantly, the CEO, he or she has to drive it.

Darren:

And the board has to be on board and the shareholders have to be on board. And there are so many people here that are required to be aligned to purpose, to actually make it sustainable and have authenticity as you’re saying.

Mike:

Absolutely. And I think that begins to build a bigger question of how do you create that influencer strategy to try and influence those stakeholders as well?

How do we influence the board? How do we influence the shareholders? But again, it’s about saying and doing, not just saying.

Darren:

Yeah. Because we’ve seen some prime examples, like a lot of the fossil fuel companies, the petrochemical companies, we’ve seen what is probably coming out of their corporate strategy and their marketing about investing heavily in alternative energy.

And yet, when you actually go to the trouble of finding out, they’re talking about infinitesimally small levels of investment in the sustainable energy. Where 99% of their profit is still coming from pulling fossil fuels out of the ground.

These are really complex issues. Is part of this that they think just by telling people they’re good guys, that everyone’s going to believe it?

Mike:

Well, that’s my point and I believe people are investigating more and more. So, if businesses are saying something and doing something else, then they’ll be found out. And I think also as you say, it’s an incredibly complex equation that we’re dealing with.

So our view is and certainly, when we’ve spoken to the UN Office of Partnerships, they agree that if an organisation is making an attempt to improve, then that’s a significant advance from 10 years ago where organisations weren’t even trying to make an attempt. All they were focused on was profit.

But the fact is at what level, and when you talk about infinitesimal.

Darren:

Small.

Mike:

Small… then that isn’t enough. And we need to encourage CEOs to understand that purpose doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of profit. There are many organisations that are delivering more profit as a result of purpose.

Darren:

Yeah and one of the examples has to be the government is leading a lot of change. The idea that government is having to step in and regulate because, I think there’s a realisation that capitalism on its own without any control just runs rampant.

So we’re seeing government actually bringing in new legislation about minimal levels of acceptable behaviour. And yet, some companies are turning around and saying, “Oh, look at us, we’re complying with the global guidelines around sourcing to avoid slavery or we’re complying with sourcing free trade products.”

And they’re saying that this is their purpose; merely complying with what’s now being set as the minimum standard.

Mike:

And the danger is that you’ve got the right hand doing one thing that could be complying and the left hand doing something completely different that isn’t complying.

There was a recent report by Giving Large that suggested Australian organisations could be spending $280 million a year on initiatives, focused on purpose and impact, but they’re not actually measuring them. Or they can’t measure it.

So, the challenge that we all face as well is, how do we prove that it’s working across many, many different industries?

Unilever is an example and they quote that the brands that they have a purpose aligned with, are growing at 69% faster than those that don’t.

Darren:

Yeah, I’ve read that as well.

Mike:

Now, whether you suggest that is an organisational focus or is that a brand focus? We can obviously debate that.

Darren:

Well, look, I think in the Unilever case, it’s quite an interesting example because you’ve got a very strong corporate focus around making the world almost like a better place; a clean, and more sustainable place, right?

But then you’ve got all these brands, they literally have a hundred brands or more. And yet they’ve picked out almost like cherry-picked the ones to extend that purpose. For instance, like Dove is natural beauty.

Mike:

Natural beauty, yes.

Darren:

What about all the other brands that they haven’t picked that out for? Because they just don’t have a purpose that aligns to the overall corporate purpose.

Mike:

Well, I think if you listen or read about what Alan Jope’s focus is, then his focus is that every single one of the brands will have a purpose.

Now you’re absolutely right, some are going to be far more difficult than others. And how he goes through that process or how his team goes through that process, we don’t know.

We’d be happy to help him or help them. But there will certainly be some products and brands that will be more likely to be aligned with certain purposes than others.

Darren:

Because it is the consumer package goods companies that have ended up with a house of brands rather than a branded house.

The P&Gs, the Unilevers, Nestle, they’ve ended up with this conglomerate of brands that it must be incredibly difficult to land on a meaningful purpose as a corporation, and then translate that into hundreds of brands.

Mike:

It goes back to an organisational purpose versus a brand purpose. A brand purpose could be to help fulfil, to using the product, to help fulfil the need of a consumer with a nice, beautiful wrapper of a purpose. So, for example, Tom’s Shoes.

That’s a beautiful brand. And when I purchase Tom’s shoes, then I know that another pair will go, so it’s a “buy one, give one” model, it will go to someone else. And that’s really good positioning from a brand perspective.

However, if you look at someone like Patagonia, we know they will be helping others for every single product that’s purchased. It’s not just shoes, or it’s not just one thing or the other.

I think Kit-Kat recently came out, I’m not sure whether it’s a global campaign or just in Australia with an R U OK? product alliance. And I don’t know whether money will actually be supporting, R U OK? and mental health and wellness, I sincerely hope so. But that’s an example of the product aligning with a purpose.

Darren:

It is interesting though because Toms Shoes and Patagonia had purpose in their creation like it’s from the day that they existed. The founder set a purpose and same with Ben & Jerry’s, there was purpose from day one.

That’s a very different approach to having an organisation that’s grown over time organically, and then trying to retrofit purpose to it, isn’t it?

Mike:

Yes, and the point that I was going to come on to make about the house of brands – is the purpose of a house of brands to try and improve society or the environment or something that’s far greater than just how can this brand support different groups of people? It’s an interesting debate.

Darren:

Well, in fact, most of the house of brands — and a good example is Cadbury Kraft merging in to create Mondelez, then selling off the Kraft business. And all of these decisions were made largely for financial reasons.

I don’t see, or you don’t hear about purpose driving these investments to buy and merge with other companies. It’s not that, “Oh, purpose makes this a good acquisition, financially, it looks good. The shareholders will be happy, the investors are happy. Oh, now look at this mess that we’ve got because nothing fits properly. Oh, well, let’s bundle this up and flog that off over here.” I don’t hear any purpose in any of these.

Mike:

Well, and I think the danger is that going back to what I said at the beginning, consumers will figure it out. And if a brand, if an organisation like Nestle were to buy a brand solely to try and spruik the purpose message, then people will figure it out very quickly.

Darren:

Well, and Nestle has had their own problem with palm oil.

Mike:

Yes.

Darren:

Yeah. And as many companies have — how do you sustainably or how do you invest to sustainably produce palm oil when there’s such a free or low-cost option in Indonesia? Okay, so the Orangutan has nowhere to live, but hey, at least we’re able to provide the palm oil. I guess that’s ok?

Mike:

Which again, that’s the right hand saying one thing, and the left hand doing something else.

Darren:

And this is where the cynicism comes in for a lot of people. It’s interesting because all the research is saying that people want companies to have and be good corporate citizens, and they want companies to be driven by a purpose to do good.

Mike:

And they’ll buy from more of those companies than others, allegedly.

Darren:

And yet we’re still seeing time and time again, financial decisions that are made around other considerations that are not about doing good — do you think the pandemic will have an impact on this?

Mike:

Well, it’s interesting, I was just going to come on and make a comment that I think consumers’ attitudes are certainly shifting. And the pandemic has undoubtedly made people consider more and may be made people reflect more. The challenge remains on how do we measure the success of it?

And if organisations are spending — those organisations that are doing the right thing but aren’t demonstrating the effect, then how can we use those case studies to demonstrate to other organisations that it’s not just the research that’s telling us what consumers will do. It’s actually reality that it’s really happening.

Darren:

And it’s more than just measuring the impact on sales, isn’t it?

Mike:

Oh, absolutely.

Darren:

Because it’s also the impact on the workforce. It’s the impact on your distributors, your distribution, and your sourcing lines. There’s a huge network that is impacted by an organisation when they truly embrace a purpose, isn’t it?

Mike:

There’s a huge impact, both rationally and also emotionally. If you think about the supply chain network of a single product for, let’s go back to Nestle, then the impact of every single stage along that is enormous and those suppliers and their supplier’s suppliers and so on and so forth.

Darren:

It’s also interesting because this has really accelerated in the last let’s say 10 to 15 years, with the rise of social media, giving individuals and organisations, a voice that traditionally you could only have had through paid media.

Mike:

Well, and I think you could have through paid media, but it was about marketing to or communicating or building a relationship with the majority. Whereas now, whether it’s social media or whether it’s just digital channels, you build the relationship on a one-to-one basis.

So you can have many, many, many relationships, but you still have to have something that is absolutely core to your organisation and core to your brand that’s relevant to them all. It’s an interesting one.

Have you found any difference in the conversations you’re having since COVID?

Darren:

Oh, absolutely. There has been a fundamental shift amongst people to being much more personal. In fact, I wrote an article about it, which is, I think COVID, and especially working from home has made business more human.

And as simple as the observation is, remember 2017, the BBC man, he was called. He was doing a live cross on BBC from home and his children ran in and his wife ran in and everyone thought she was the housekeeper or the nanny because she’s Asian and he’s Western and all.

And yet, this is now happening every day. Business is being run across all sorts of video channels, where you’re literally inviting people into your home to do business. I think that’s making people more human, more accepting, more concerned about each other’s welfare, beyond the idea of putting on the suit of armour, turning up to the castle, which is the corporate office and getting ready to do battle. It’s much more about caring about individuals.

Mike:

Well, what’s interesting about that when you talk about the suit of armour and the classic sort of sales presentation, then one of the initiatives that we’re working on with a WPP company out of London is that if you think about the last slide that’s presented, it’s always the “thank you” slide. And it’s a bit ho-hum and said, “Oh, thanks very much” and so on.

What we’re doing with WPP is donating — trying to get organisations to donate that “thank you” slide. To recognise a purpose or a social cause that the audience within that meeting will actually appreciate and acknowledge.

So for example, if we think about the food supply, we probably haven’t considered or thought or reflected about farmers much.

But, as a result of their dedication and hard work, we’re still getting three meals on our plates every day. And so there could be a very simple message that just says, thank you for those farmers that during these tough times, they’re still managing to put food on our table.

Darren:

So that’s a great example, Mike. And that goes straight to your Thankful business as well, doesn’t it?

Mike:

Absolutely. Thankful is a global social enterprise to create Thankful Moments for those in need by creating co-branded products with brands. For example, if we were working with someone like L’Oreal, then we could create a perfume called “Thankful.”

So it’s a bit similar to Product (RED), which Bono started. And in the first 10 years, Red produced 36 different products and they raised $500 million to support a single cause – HIV and AIDS in Africa.

The beauty of the Thankful model is that we could be multiple causes because you can be thankful for women, thankful for the oceans, thankful for kids, thankful for pets, and it goes on and on and on.

And we also own the trademark of the word “thankful” globally across more than 135 different product areas.

So if you imagine the example that I just gave about creating a perfume called “Thankful” with L’Oreal, we’ll do a revenue share where our small part of revenue that “Thankful” generates will do two things.

One, it will support a cause-related initiative like Thankful4Women in this case because the audience is women. And then the other thing is that we will provide support to other nonprofits that already have programs on the ground to help support women in need, end violence against women and so on.

Darren:

It’s an interesting concept of creating a brand that then is the opportunity for other brands to almost ride on the back of.

Mike:

Well, and it’s a really great point because Thankful, yes, it’s a brand, but it’s also an emotion and it’s also a directive. And it’s getting people to reflect more because it’s scientifically proven that if we reflect more upon the things that we do have, rather than the things we don’t have, i.e. what we’re thankful for, then it’ll lead to us being happier people.

And certainly that is much needed in these times where the hidden pandemic that already exists, as a result of COVID, is mental health and wellness.

So a brand like Thankful that can get everyone to reflect upon the things that we are thankful for, and the positive things in life will have an enormous effect.

Darren:

Sorry, it’s left me reflecting on the fact that there’s a movement out there, which says that if you took the top 10 richest people in the world and their net wealth, you could solve almost all of the world’s problems like hunger, education.

We live in a world where there’s such disparity between the haves and the have nots. And yet, yeah, I like the idea of Thankful because it gives back to the have nots, even the opportunity of being able to do something and reflect on what they do have, rather than focusing on what they do not.

It’s interesting that the world has got into this place, this space during this pandemic. We’ve seen the rise of Black Lives Matter, which has been around for quite a while.

The issue of racism and inequality has been around for a long time, but it’s got a new voice. We’re seeing the talk around the climate crisis is getting a new voice. It’s getting a new traction.

It’ll be interesting to see how this actually plays out. And especially, in the context of making people feel like they can actually make a contribution because I think so many people increasingly feel powerless.

Mike:

I couldn’t agree with you more. And I think, from a thankful perspective, if we can get more co-branded products on supermarket shelves, then we’re not asking consumers to do any different.

What we’re asking them to do is purchase the bottle of milk that has a Thankful4Farmers logo on it. And they know that a portion of the sales of that product goes directly towards helping farmers.

Now, milk is probably not the greatest example given the challenges that milk has had within this country. But certainly, if we can demonstrate to consumers that when they see the Thankful logo, there’s no difference in price, but they do know that a portion of the sales will go to support that cause itself.

Darren:

Okay. Getting back to the idea of a purpose beyond Thankful’s purpose, which I think is a terrific one.

Mike:

Thank you.

Darren:

Where do companies or organisations start in defining their purpose? Because the thing that concerns me with calling it “brand purpose” is it sounds like it starts with marketing, right?

So, where does purpose start? If there’s an organisation that has never been created with a purpose, where would you start looking for purpose?

Mike:

Well, I would…

Darren:

Because it is found, isn’t it? It will be within the organisation rather than being something that’s just added on.

Mike:

It should be definitely within the organisation. Now, if an organisation decides that brand is the place that it starts, then that’s a better starting point than not doing it at all. So don’t get me wrong and say that we should just discount it.

But I think it has to come from the CEO. It has to come from a place within the organisation that the level of leadership and the level of influence and impact within the organisation will mean that it’s absolutely authentic and it’s believed by everyone.

Now, how we start with organisations might be with the Head of Marketing or Head of Brand, or you might have the CEO. Ideally, it’s the CEO who’s sponsoring the initiative. And then we will go and talk to the staff.

We will go and talk to consumers, we’ll talk to shareholders and we’ll talk to the board to really understand where each of those components is coming from and if an organisation has already started doing something or has something established, then we understand that as well.

And then we’ll work with them to understand what we think all of those different components are at the centre of the organisation and what could be the purpose moving forward.

Darren:

It’s interesting because Jim Collins wrote about purpose in Built To Last. And he said, often purpose is found with the founder of the organisation. And he didn’t use this as an example, but for me, reading about the early days of Cadbury and the fact — and I can’t remember which religion it was. I think it might’ve been Seventh-day Adventist.

I’m not sure on that, but they actually at Bournville built housing estates and created green spaces for the employees that their religious beliefs and values were actually translated into the company.

And when you go back to those companies that were created in the 19th century at a time when corporations weren’t corporations, but they were companies that were almost given as a privilege for an individual to run — they seemed to have a much greater sense of purpose and social purpose than the corporations of the 20th century when it was all about shareholder value.

Mike:

Well, I guess that goes back to how we measure the short-termism of business success. And this is probably a similar situation as the founder, but if you look at Ford as an example, and Bill Ford, I think he’s — regardless of what he’s done during COVID, which has just been absolutely extraordinary.

But prior to that, if you think about his (Ford’s) purpose, everyone would be thinking, well is it about the environment? Is it about transporting people? Is it about creating the cheapest car that’s the most economical that does the best for the environment? No, he’s talked about Ford’s purpose as being to mobilise humanity and that’s…

Darren:

What Henry Ford originally said. He wanted to make it available to every person. He did it in a way that he introduced mass production to lower cost, but the purpose was to actually make the car something that every man and person could afford.

Mike:

Yes and I think accessibility is slightly different from mobilising humanity.

Darren:

Okay.

Mike:

And yes, we could argue the semantics of it, but I think this whole notion of mobilising humanity implies a far bigger and greater vision than just creating an ability to create products at such an accessible price that everyone can buy.

Darren:

Well, and that’s the other thing that I got from years ago, reading Built To Last, is that purpose is one thing, but how you implement it constantly changes. That implementation has got to do with the world and how the world evolves and how people evolve. But the actual core of the purpose remains the same.

Mike:

Absolutely. And you have to have every single staff member being a true believer. And, I’m not suggesting that we should follow the religious analogy too far, but we have disciples who are sharing and believing in that purpose throughout.

Darren:

True believers.

Mike:

True believers, TBs.

Darren:

Okay. So, if a company is able to articulate a purpose, what is the role in a brand purpose? What would a Marketer then do if they’re working for an organisation that has a purpose, how do you go about the process of then integrating that into your marketing of the brands?

Mike:

I guess it goes back to what I said at the start which is, fundamentally, what we’re trying to do is understand brands and understand consumers and build the relationship between the two.

Now, how the brand fits within that based upon the purpose, then you’ve almost got like a — I’m not quite sure what shape it is, but let’s just call it a square with four different points on it. And how do we take the brand and the consumer and understand how we can deliver that in the most differentiating and most relevant way that motivates them and makes them believe that this brand really means business.

Darren:

And sometimes, the purpose may not actually be in traditional marketing terms, a consumer benefit though.

Mike:

It might not be.

Darren:

But it could or should be something that is enhancing the customer’s experience or perception of the brand.

Mike:

I completely agree. And I think, going back to your point about directly being a consumer benefit, is it me as the consumer who’s purchasing it, am I benefiting directly? Or is it me knowing that the organisation is doing something right?

Darren:

Which is a discussion I’ve had many times, especially with my mother. I’d say even people like her that do a lot of community work, you still do it for yourself because you get the reward of doing good for others.

So there is still a personal reward in doing good. That’s above and beyond even recognition because, in its purest form, it is just the joy of knowing you’ve made a difference.

Mike:

Well, and what do they say the definition of integrity is… doing the right thing even when no one’s looking. Absolutely. It’s the impact of how it makes you feel. And if I do something for you, Darren, then it will make you feel good and it will make me feel good as well.

Darren:

Do you think purpose always has to be either environmental sustainability, ethically responsible, socially responsible — the sort of what used to be called the triple bottom line seems to be the types of purposes that people are rushing to market with or communicating.

But purpose could be bigger than that. Because I like the example before with Ford, this idea of mobilising the world or mobilising the people is — that doesn’t have any of those sort of triple bottom line expressions to it, does it?

Mike:

I think it’s a great question and it probably depends upon the different type of organisation. Like, if you’re a small shoe manufacturer, then you probably don’t have global vision. But what you can do is you can create a purpose with an intent to try and enable everyone to get from A to B as comfortably as possible, or something like that.

But I think global organisations have a big part to play in what’s going to happen in our future. And whether that falls under the classic ESG type banner or whether it falls under the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals — what really matters is what’s right for the organisation and whether it’s authentic and whether it will have a social impact.

Darren:

It also has to be inspirational for the organisation and for those stakeholders, doesn’t it?

Mike:

Absolutely.

Darren:

The reason I bring it up is that there’s been (and I won’t name them) — but there’s been organisations that suddenly will grab the nearest charity or doing good initiative and then go, “We’ll support that. We’ll take a percentage of every sale and put it towards this. Oh, look, we’ve got our purpose. Our purpose is to support this charity.” That’s not really purpose, is it?

Mike:

But that’s not doing a bad thing.

Darren:

I get that, but I want to differentiate the difference between doing good, right? Because you can, and having a purpose. Because I think purpose (you said before) is part of the DNA of the organisation.

Just tactically, and I say that a bit flippantly, but choosing something that’s good: “Oh, well that’s good, let’s do that, there’s our purpose” is not actually purpose because it has not come from the organisation, it’s come from — and when I challenged this company on it, they said, “Oh well, but our founders have always thought that that charity was a good charity. I worked at the children’s hospital, I think the children’s hospital’s a great charity, but it’s not in my purpose as an organisation.”

Mike:

And I think purpose should undoubtedly come first. And supporting the children’s charity as an example is one of the deliverables, and one of the ways that we are showing that we’re living our purpose.

So, yes, I agree that driving sales to support a charity is not a purpose. It’s still a good thing but it’s not a purpose. You need to have the strategic purpose defined to then align whether the charity is right.

Which again, goes back to some of the challenges that we face with founders who might have supported as your example, the children’s charity for many years, but if the purpose is something different and the children’s charity doesn’t align to it, then how do you change the focus?

Darren:

Of course. But for me, that’s one of the measures of a good purpose, is that — or solid purpose, is it has a strategic element to it. In that, a good strategy informs you in your decisions on what to do, but more importantly, what not to do, right?

Just choosing something to use — and doing good is good, but it can exist beside purpose. But having a purpose that then says, right, should we buy this company? Well, does it move our purpose forward? Should we invest in this technology? Should we move into this space? Should we move into these markets?

All should have purpose as part of the filtering process of what decisions to make in the affirmative and what to reject, shouldn’t they?

Mike:

Absolutely. And I think if we think about who defines strategy within an organisation, then it’s the board and the CEO. And if they’re the ones who are defining what that DNA is and where the organisation should go, then regardless of whether it’s a Brand Manager or a Marketing Director, making the decision as to how we communicate that, the strategy still is clear.

Darren:

The reason I say that is that again, going back to some of the brand purposes, is that they often will align to a marketing strategy, but not an organisational strategy.

Mike:

I think that’s the power of leadership and the likes of people like Alan Jope, if they are to be aligning every single one of their products and their brand purposes to Unilever’s overarching purpose, then that has to be the future. But again, it goes back to if you have 50 brands that you’re dealing with, which ones are you going to pick off first?

Darren:

There’s a great quote from Bill Bernbach from DDB. He said, “A principle is only a principle when it costs you money,” right? And I’m just wondering whether you could also apply it to a purpose is only a purpose when it costs you money.

Mike:

Well, I think a good business doing good, should actually be entitled to both profit and purpose. The question is, is there a short term reduction in profits to drive the purpose that ultimately builds both purpose and profit in the future? But then it goes back to the other part of the circular process, which is the measurement and how are you going to measure it?

Darren:

And how do you think companies should measure it? Because clearly just financial performance initially is not going to do it. Yeah, there’s a lot of other measures out there, such as employee satisfaction and retention. What else?

Mike:

There are lots of them. And I think you can create a balanced scorecard, but it has to be reviewed against what the initial strategy is. Obviously, as we’ve talked about, stakeholders are incredibly important and how you measure their impact, how you measure influence, how you measure staff satisfaction, but also how you measure consumer satisfaction.

And I think the way you can get some type of metric that can measure authenticity and that believability and demonstrating that what you’re saying you’re actually doing as well.

Darren:

Mike, I’ve just noticed the time, we’ve run out of time. Thank you very much for making the time. This has been a conversation that has literally left me speechless because it’s created so many thoughts for me to reflect on. So I really appreciate that.

Mike:

Well, thank you very much. And in summary, the two important points I can make is that it’s very clear that doing good is good for business. It’s not just for the business itself, but also everything else. So, it’s how we can create an impact on business, for consumers, for-profit, and for purpose.

But the other thing is that there is no magic wand that just one day I can flick a switch to become a purpose-driven organisation. It goes back to what we said. It’s about the incremental things that make the difference and, providing an organisation is intent on making a difference, it can do it slowly. That’s what we’re after — for a business that is driven by purpose.

Darren:

It’s a long game in other words.

Mike:

It’s a very long game.

Darren:

One last question, who do you think, if you were put in the spotlight right now, has done it really, really well?

Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media, and commercial communications professionals, Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by Darren Woolley and special guests. Find all the episodes here

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Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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